tuesday tip — one thing at a time.

For me, the fall is crazy. Our church does a yearly kick-off campaign, chock full of fun and exciting events, that is always great for community. (Seriously. Lives are changed. It’s rad.) However, as the volunteer event coordinator, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t drain me dry every year. Over the past month I’ve run myself ragged — with everything I need to get done with the kick-off plus my everyday responsibilities at work and home, I’ve found myself with little time to do anything else. Like sleep — I can’t remember the last time I slept past 7:00 AM. I’m dreadfully exhausted, mentally and physically.

But! Alas! An oasis! The only plans I had this past Saturday fell through, leaving me with an entire day to do whatever I wanted. So I chose to sleep in! Finally!

Friday night showed heaps of promise for a Saturday morning snooze fest: Dan and I went on a double date and ended up staying out entirely too late (for us, that is — we are, after all, senior citizens now) allowing us to finally crawl in into bed and doze off around 1:00AM. But something (a cat? my brain? something equally as annoying?) jolted me awake shortly thereafter. I rustled, grumbled, then squinted blearily at the glowing alarm clock in our pitch black bedroom. Without my glasses, I had to strain to make the green blur come into focus — 6:57AM.


I tried to go back to sleep, desperate to fulfill my only plans for my Saturday morning, but my brain refused to turn off. It just kept running through the list of a bazillion things I need to do/meetings I need to have in the next couple weeks or so. After tossing and turning for what seemed like forever, I got up, picked up Pretties with the hope that reading would tire my eyes, and set up camp in the guest room to avoid disturbing Dan while I tried to fall back asleep.

A little after 10, Dan finally roused and came into the guest room and found me still awake, blowing through my book. He sweetly snuggled up against me, but I did not respond warmly. My body stiffened up against his, irritated and bitter — I resented him for sleeping soundly when my over-active brain wouldn’t let me do the same on my only day off.

He asked me what was wrong. I didn’t respond audibly — I simply began to cry. (Isn’t being married to me awesome, you guys?! I rule.)

“I’m just so overwhelmed with everything I have to do,” I sighed as I started to sob. I continued on and rattled off a list of the things that were expected of me in the coming week. “So much planning, so many meetings and rehearsals, and the house is a mess. Everything I need to do is making me crazy. And I just wanted to sleep. But I can’t even do that.”

Without missing a beat, Dan gave me a squeeze and softly said, “Okay, well, I’m going to make us breakfast. Then, you and I will clean the house. After that, we’ll go to a coffee shop so you can get some work done. And then, after all that, we’ll go and relax at our friends’ house.”

I sniffled, wiped away the remaining tears from my cheeks, and squeaked out a meek, “Okay.”


Sometimes, all the work that goes into having a happy and healthy self-image can be daunting. As easy as it sounds to completely shift your entire lifestyle and paradigm (ha) it takes a lot of work. You have to be intentional every day. Avoiding triggers. Rewiring your brain. Encouraging others while you still aren’t so sure of yourself. Honestly, sometimes, it can be too much work to bear.

But that’s okay! Being on a quest for self-love doesn’t mean you have to be perfect at it. As a matter of fact, that’s the entire point! Just take one thing at a time.

  • On one day, “clean your house”: replace any negative thoughts you have with positive ones. Remove all of the “I’m Not Good Enoughs” and put “I Am Loveds” in their places.
  • Another day, sit and “work”: Write down what you’d love to see improve in yourself over the next few days/weeks/years. Make a plan of action on how you can get there.
  • Finally, relax: Know that a self-love journey isn’t completed in a day. Or a year. Or several years. It’s a journey that, honestly, you may never actually complete. But waking up everyday and choosing to keep walking in that direction allows you to, some days, just relax where you are.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, or exhausted, or like you just can’t be “put together” another day, just take a deep breath. Collect your thoughts and then take one step. Maybe it’s a step forward. But maybe it’s a step to the side. Maybe it’s just a step in place. But just take one. And then another. And then another.

tuesday tip — find a mentor.

Hey diet cokers. How was your weekend? Good? Fantastic?
Mine was pretty crappy to be real with you. Dan and I were going through some stuff and blah blah blah marriage is like sandpaper and makes you better but it kind of hurts a little bit blah blah blah BUT. There was one blinding highlight: I got an email over the weekend that rocked my world.

I was asked to be someone’s mentor.

And not just anyone’s mentor. Someone whom I’ve known personally for AT LEAST a decade, informally for longer, whom I adore and admire immensely. Someone beautiful. Someone intelligent. Someone I hold in extremely high regard.

While I’ve never been asked to be a mentor before, (I feel like I’ve been invited to be this person’s date to a responsible-adults-only prom or something, naturally themed “Getting Our Shit Together!”) I’ve asked countless other women (in not so many words) to mentor me and I honestly never thought I’d be on the other side of that equation. I always assumed my history is too blemished, my present too pock-marked, to actually make a difference in someone else’s life. But getting that email was like watching the wild train of my insecurities come to a screeching halt. My words and input actually matter to someone else. So much so, that they’ve asked me to intentionally pour more of them into their daily life. Wowzers.


Again, I’m no expert on this “mentoring” thing. I’ve only been doing it for, oh, roughly three days so far (via just as many emails, probably.) But, like I said, I have plenty of experience being a mentee. And with the right mentor (no pressure, Self) it can be so unbelievably life-changing.

So. How do you find a mentor?

First of all, you’ve got to have some sort of relationship established. You can’t (or, rather, you shouldn’t) just sit in a coffee shop and people watch until a particularly “mentor-ish” person walks in and then ambush them with a free cup of joe and say, “Hey, I bought you this coffee, will you sit and drink it with me while I tell you about my life and the ways I’d like to grow?”

As well as being a relational connection, this should be a trustworthy person. Don’t seek out someone you aren’t sure isn’t going to spill your beans. Similarly, you should be able to trust that, if they agree to mentor you, they will hold up their end of the bargain and not totally disappoint you.

Finally (this might seem like “duh” but whatever) choose someone you wish to emulate. Someone whose life choices are those you would like to make. It’s always good to like your mentors, but if you choose on simply based on the fact that they’re fun to hang out with, you should reevaluate your goals for that relationship. If you just want to hang out and have a good time, just be closer friends with that person! It will still be beneficial to you. But if you desire personal growth and challenge, seek out someone whose life you’d be proud to call your own.

tuesday tip — consume wisely.

If you’ve got a spare 8 minutes lying around somewhere (8 minutes that, I assume, you haven’t already wasted on Tumblr or Pinterest) watch this trailer for Miss Representation, a documentary on the media’s representation of women in America.

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

As a Mass Media Studies major (I went to college, did you know?) I’m the first person to be privy to the amount of media each of us consumes each day. From billboards to magazines to television shows to commercials to movies to music to whatever else, we are inundated with messages like the ones shown in the trailer ad nauseam. But the thing that really caught my eye was the statistic that says that the average American teenager consumes an average of over 10 and a half hours of media each day. That’s insane. That is, quite literally, almost half of all the hours we have in the day and, depending on a person’s sleep schedule, the overwhelming majority of one’s waking hours.

These or our teenagers. Our daughters. Our sons. Our future.

I’ve written before about how I’m absolutely no help when it comes to grocery shopping. All I do is gaze desperately into pages and pages of tabloid magazine garb, all to suddenly find myself crawling my way out of a body-hating depression while my husband has to single-handedly line up and pay for all of our groceries. And, like I said, I’m a person who is already aware of the effects of the media on our perception of the world. What does this mean for those of us who do not know?

Naturally, after watching the trailer, I came to the conclusion that I’m never having kids. I won’t. I won’t bring my precious babies them into a world that will jam this skewed message about women down their throats. Oh crap, I thought. What if I accidentally get pregnant?!  Then I decided that if I accidentally get pregnant, I’ll snatch my babies up and run away to the woods somewhere and form a community a la The Village minus the creepiness and never let them know of the horrors of the outside world.

Then I remembered that I’m ridiculous.

It makes no sense for me to tell you to run away or lock yourselves up in a closet and avoid media all together. Even though that would most definitely put a band-aid on the problem we have developed in this country, it certainly would not fix it. Whether we acknowledge it or not, something is wrong with this picture. Running away from reality is the last thing we need to do. We need to stand up to this problem, look the media in the face, and let them know how wrong they are.


Since, unfortunately, living in this world means consuming media, we’ve got to learn how to consume wisely.

First of all, avoid those triggers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Once you know what triggers negative self-image, you can begin taking steps toward defeating those triggers and robbing them of their power over you. If reading fashion magazines puts you in an overwhelming funk, or makes you swear off calories forever, don’t read them. You can acknowledge their existence without consuming them. And, when you do so…
Talk about it. If you feel icky about a certain message that’s being communicated in the media, chances are, that message is icky. Your feelings are real. They are valid. Tell other people about how you feel about advertisements, or episodes of Two and a Half Men, or whatever else. Open up the conversation. Ask those around you what their opinion is on the matter and, if necessary, challenge their viewpoints (without having to drop a dollar in the Douchebag Jar, of course.)
Give context. If you’re in a position of influence to the younger generation (parents, teachers, youth leaders, counselors, older siblings, etc.) don’t be afraid to address the issue with these impressionable people. Just because they’re younger than you doesn’t mean they’re not mature enough to handle it. If nothing else, I’d guess they’re already feeling the effects of these negative messages and could benefit from your older and wiser influence.

The media is pushing out a very real message to our society that our teenagers are consuming almost the entirety of their waking hours. Don’t let the media have the last word on our kids’ self-worth.

tuesday tip — own it.

A week and some change ago, I got a sweet new necessary accessory. Or, as my husband so cleverly coined, a “necessory.” As a result of my ACL reconstruction surgery, for the next five weeks, I’ll be sporting an oh-so-sexy black hinged leg brace. I know I know I know. I’m so trendy. Black leg braces are the new nude legs, y’all. I’m telling you. This time next year, everyone will be doing it.

Okay. Maybe not. But for right now, this is what I’ve got.

Last week, fresh out of the hospital, I took up a  permanent residence on my sofa so I didn’t do much “dressing to impress,” if you will. (Unless, of course, you count sports bras, holey wifebeaters, and plaid boxer shorts the next big thing in fashion.) But at 7AM yesterday, my alarm went off signaling the time had officially come for me to actually get out of bed, get ready, and go out into civilization. Staring at my sad-looking brace-laden leg, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Weak, helpless, and (as screwed up as it is) unattractive and, therefore, a bit depressed.

I really don’t understand how people who live alone survive after knee surgery. There is a special kind of helplessness and humility associated with this kind of recovery. You don’t realize how precious and necessary your knees are until one of them doesn’t work. My husband has to help me do everything. I try to be as independent as I can, but the truth is, I can’t shower without his help. I can’t get dressed without his help. Oh, and my house is in complete disarray. A laundry bomb has exploded. The sink is full of dishes. The carpet is choking on cat hair and desperately crying out to be vacuumed. And there is just stuff everywhere. At this point, everything in my life seems to be out of control and (as I’m sure you can imagine) for someone recovering from an ED, all of this is very frustrating. Being out of control makes me want to do very insane things in order to regain control. (Breathe in, breathe out.)


The fact of the matter is, I can’t do anything about this knee brace for another five weeks. I can’t “walk” (read: hobble) without it, lest my knee buckle under my weight and send me tumbling down, new ligaments re-tearing all over the place.  This brace and the limitations associated with it are part of me for now, as much as it pains me (ahaha I’m so punny.) So. Rather than focus on how much it royally sucks, I’m working it. I’m walking around like this brace is my answer to knee-high boots. The new fall craze! Since it’s black, I’ve been working a black-centric wardrobe. Black accents. Black accessories. Black prints. I love it!


This reminds me of all the things I’ve hated about my body in the past. My big boobs. My small butt. My giant soccer player thighs. My weirdly distorted ballerina feet. Things that I’ve done insane, stupid, unhealthy things to try to change. If I would have put half as much effort into owning these things as I did trying to starve them away, I could have moved mountains, people. (And no, that’s not some weird Song of Solomon-esque boob pun. Or, rather, I suppose it’s not an intended one. Darn my innate cleverness.)

Whatever you’ve got, work it! Even if you want to change it, and are in the process of healthily transforming your body, don’t hate it where it’s at. Love it. Work it. If you’ve got bangin’ hips, don’t hide them. (Also, I’m mad jealous of you.) Play them up with fun curve-accentuating belts. If you’re, ahem, mountainous like me, have fun with layers and dimensions to spotlight those curves. Do whatever you want.

Just don’t try and change it in a hasty, unhealthy, dangerous way. If you “take off your brace,” if you will, it could be disastrous. You will fall, You will fail. You will be worse off than before. Work what you got, and take the constructive, albeit arduous, steps necessary to reach recovery,  full health, and self-love and I promise you, you will shine.

Cheers, beauties!

tuesday tip — labels.


I’ll never forget ordering my first small t-shirt.

When I was in college, my sorority got t-shirts made for pretty much every event we held. I always ordered a medium because that was my size and, courtesy of my twisted ED-wired brain, I was always terribly ashamed of it. I was positive that whichever sister I submitted my order to was judging me for being a medium and not a small, and that everyone who saw me in my shirt thought the same thing.

My junior year, right before I was diagnosed with EDNOS, I ordered a small for the first time. I knew I’d lost a good deal of weight, so I was confident (hopeful?) I’d be able to fit into a small. When my shirt came in, I stood in front of my mirror, held my breath, closed my eyes, and tried it on. When I opened my eyes to see that the shirt fit, my spirits catapulted me up into the air onto Cloud 9.  Angels sang the Hallelujah chorus as I pranced around proudly in a small sized shirt. I felt unstoppable. I felt invincible.

And, of course, by invincible I mean relieved that my starvation was finally paying off in a visible way.


A couple months ago (before I tore my ACL) I was in my room getting dressed to go on a run. I opened my t-shirt drawer and sifted through my collection until I finally found one of the several small shirts I ordered myself in college. I held it up to my chest, thinking it probably could still fit, and then I stood in front of the mirror, closed my eyes, held my breath, tried on the shirt, and then…

Oh shit.

The shirt didn’t fit, which made sense, because I’ve gained weight since being diganosed with EDNOS. Duh, I thought. I knew this would happen. I sat down on my bed, my spirits crushed, and didn’t even bother going on my run. Now I have to wear medium shirts and everyone is going to see that I used to fit into small shirts but now I have to wear mediums and therefore I’m fat and ugly and worthless and…


If you’re like me and just knowing that whatever label you’re wearing isn’t small enough, let it go. Not only does no one else on the planet know what label you’re wearing (contrary to popular belief, it’s printed on your shirt, not your forehead) but no one else cares. Oh, and more importantly, labels have no bearing on your self-worth whatsoever. Whether you wear a small or an XXL, a 4 or a 20, you are lovely. You are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Imagine what life would be like if that was printed on your shirt. Go ahead. Imagine it.

And now, make it your reality. Mentally replace all of your clothing size labels with words like, “beautiful” and “gorgeous” and “talented” and “incredible.”

Because even though your size labels are only printed on the inside of your clothes for only you to see, these true labels are what everyone else already sees. It’s about time you did, too.

tuesday tip — triggers.

A word to the wise: don’t go grocery shopping with me. I am no help.

When Dan and I go shopping, I try my hardest to help out. I’m really great at making the list, but my helpfulness stops there and I end up just taking up valuable aisle space. Dan takes my list and actually goes to retrieve all of the items, while I simply bark out on which aisles they can be found. Then, to add icing on the grocery-shopping cake, I totally space out at the checkout counter. My eyes glaze over, and I zoom in on the magazine racks, taking in headline after intriguing headline on each tabloid. As my poor husband piles our groceries onto the conveyor belt by himself, I turn into a magazine-flipping zombie. I read about celebrities I don’t even know. Celebrities I don’t even care about. What is she wearing? What movie is she in? Who’s her new boyfriend? Where’d she get that bikini? What is that–

“LINDSAY! We’re leaving!”

My trance is broken by an undoubtedly irritated husband who has just purchased, bagged, and carted all of our groceries on his own.

“Oh. Right. Uh. I knew that. Sorry. Uh. Coming.”

The magazine phenomenon seems harmful at first; apart from feeling bad for holding Dan up and offering up no assistance at the checkout counter, I feel pretty fine. But twenty, thirty, forty minutes later, something changes.

“What’s wrong?” Dan asks.
“You look… sad. Is everything okay?”
“Oh. Yeah. I just. I feel really fat and ugly right now.”
“Why? What happened?”
“I don’t know, but I wish I looked like [insert the name of the celebrity on the cover of the magazine I looked at earlier.]”


I don’t know why I seemingly come down with amnesia each time we go to the grocery store. The outcome is always the same, but like a dog that keeps eating its own poop and hoping not to throw up, I can’t help but consume images in magazines and hope they don’t make me feel bad about my appearance.


Triggers. We all have them. Maybe your trigger is magazines, too. Celebrity gossip sites, perhaps. Romantic comedies, maybe. Or, maybe your trigger is a person who talks badly about their body around you. Maybe it’s an abusive partner. Whatever it is for you, it is imperative you recognize it to become healthy.

In a perfect world, I would rid the planet of these trashy magazines that cause me to think poorly about myself. I would call up Publix and Winn-Dixie and Walmart and Kmart and Retail Store X and use my endearing charm to convince them to burn magazine shipments on delivery. Then, I’d live happily ever after in my tabloid-free world! But, as you are well aware, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a broken world where avoiding our triggers completely is unfortunately impossible. All I can do is recognize that tabloids are a trigger for me, confront these magazines, and steal their power.

Tabloid magazines, you are just paper. You have no power over my self-worth.

You can do it, too. Analyze your life and find out what it is that can set your mind in a negative whirlwind. Sometimes it happens so fast, we don’t even realize it. But it is so worth it for you to work to discover what triggers your negative self talk. Recognize your triggers and then rid them of their power.

Negative people, you are just insecure about yourself. I am beautiful.
Advertisements, you aren’t a representation of reality. I am real, and I am lovely.
Abusive boyfriend, you just want to have control over something. You can’t control me or my body.
Fitting room lighting, you’re trying to make me look bad on purpose. You’re failing.
Scale, you are just an electronic box. You have no dictation over my health or beauty.

Once you are able to take control of your triggers, they lose their control over you. And oh, how freeing it is.

tuesday tip — communicate.


For some reason, I was born without a thing called a “filter.” What that means for me is that if a thought comes to my mind, there isn’t anything between it and my mouth. A filter is manned by something called “restraint,” and nothing about that word sounds good to me. (I equate the word “restraint” with the words “Oreos are a sometimes food” and I just don’t believe that.) As a communicator, I don’t mind this all that much. I don’t like to be left alone with my own thoughts. Merely thinking is too solitary. Too lonely. I don’t like to be alone. I want to be around people all the time. Speaking is one half of communicating, and communicating is inclusive.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re probably aware that my anti-filter is especially evident. Even if I’m pissed off. Or sad. Or frustrated. If I’m thinking it, you’re reading it.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that on my blog, I can create a filter. The backspace key allows for that. You are absolutely right. But here’s my question to you: why?

When I first started this blog, I elected to be as conversational as possible. That would mean, for me, holding nothing back. And that scared the living crap out of me. Spouting off everything that crosses my mind to my friends is one thing — putting it on the Internet for six billion people to read? Yikes. That’s a whole different can of worms. When I posted my first post, it was my assumption that anyone who happened across my blog would read it for five minutes tops before indifferently navigating to another page. I mean, let’s be honest, here — it’s not like I’m blogging about rocket science. The issues I write about are issues a lot of people already think about. I’m no revolutionary. And so, I created this blog, all the while accepting the fact that no one would probably care about it or communicate back.

Uh, wow. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this. I’ve gotten emails. Facebook messages. Stops on the street. The other side of the conversation has erupted. People aren’t just thinking about these issues anymore. They’re talking about them, too. In offices. In coffee shops. In bars. With friends. To me.

And so…


Do you think you look great today? Talk about it. Did you have a body-image meltdown last night because your “skinny” jeans don’t fit right? Talk about it. Do you hate hearing your friend say she’s fat and ugly all the time? Talk about it. I know it can be absolutely terrifying to share what is on your heart, be it joyful or morose, but that doesn’t get us anywhere. Nothing has ever been changed before someone opened up and talked about it.

This past week I stumbled across a Swedish proverb that states, “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” And I fully believe that. If you’re having one of those days where your self-love meter is off the chart, tell someone about it. Let them rejoice with you in your victory. Likewise, if you find yourself struggling to get through the day without thinking negatively about yourself, reach out to a friend. Let them lighten the load for you. A self-love journey is personal, yes. But real transformation happens when we allow enough room in our lives to others in.

tuesday tip — mentality vs. reality.

Heads up: this is one of those blog posts that is more for me than it is for you. If it helps you, great. But honestly, I just need to blog because, like I’ve said a thousand times, I blog because I can’t afford therapy.

Three weeks ago I tore my ACL at my dance class. I landed wrong after a jump and, well, my knee decided to rip in half or something. I’m going to see an orthopedist on Thursday and I’ll most likely have to undergo surgery at some point in the coming weeks. Ha. Wow. I just typed that, flippantly, as if it’s something that people just do. Just like that.

“Oh hey, what’d you do today?” — “Nothing really, just had some knee surgery and then swung by Starbucks, whatevs.”

At any rate, the past three weeks have been challenging for several legitimate reasons (I can’t move my knee certain ways, I have to wear a brace every waking hour, I have to let people wait on me, etc.) But, they’ve also been challenging for a big, stupid, dumb, not-legitimate-at-all reason: I can’t exercise and it’s giving me anxiety.

You see, the thing about those affected by eating disorders is that they are constantly plagued by both the need to control everything and the desire to attain perfection. So, strict diets and unreasonable exercise routines win out to quell both cravings.

While I’m “recovered” from my eating disorder (some would argue that an eating disorder isn’t something you can ever fully recover from and that you can only merely learn to struggle with) I’ve found myself in a situation where my body and what it looks like are beyond my control. AND I HATE IT. The fact that I can’t burn off the calories I consume is tormenting me. I freak out about each food item I eat because I know that, if I’m not careful, I could gain a butt-ton (pun intended) of weight in the coming months. The mentality of it all is breaking me down.

But that’s the thing — the mentality is breaking me down. Not the reality.

My  mentality: I’ve gained weight since tearing my ACL and that’s really awful.

The reality: Even if I have gained weight, which is highly unlikely, it’s no big deal.

I bring this up because I know I’m not alone in this. Maybe it’s not a knee injury for you. Maybe you’ve gotten behind on your housework and you just haven’t had time to exercise. Maybe, because it’s wedding season, you’ve had to attend a thousand hitchings in the past few months and have eaten dinner after delectable, catered dinner and you feel as though they are taking up a permanent residence in your fat cells. Maybe, because it’s summer and the entire country is experiencing an out-of-control heatwave, you just haven’t gone for a jog in a while for fear of dying of heat stroke.

Whatever uncontrollable circumstances are arising in your life at the moment, breathe in, and remember that the reality is that you are wonderfully made and oh, so very loved.

Your mentality cannot change that, no matter how negative it might be at any given time.

tuesday tip: words

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Few statements have been made that are truer than this for me. Words and ideas have constructed and reconstructed the paradigms on which I base my entire life. Words like “diet” and “thin” and ideas like “eating disorders” and “perfection” and “never good enough” were so powerful to me that they quite literally  changed my world. Over the span of the 10 years I had a destructive relationship with food, I wasn’t the only one affected. My friends’ and family’s lives had changed, too. We were all in this crappy world together, drowning in self-loathing and despair. Relationships were broken. Tears were shed. Fights were had. All because I was convinced that with this body in this world, I would never be good enough to be loved.

But the good news is that wasn’t the end of the story. As backwards and scary as these ideas made the world for me, I made a conscious decision that I didn’t want it to stay that way. I was determined to create a whole new existence for myself — one that was governed by love instead of hate and joy instead of sorrow and hope instead of failure. Without much direction or know-how, I turned to the only tool I could fathom utilizing in a battle against self-hate — the weapon that changed my world in the first place: words.

At first, knowing full well that the only ideas in my head were dangerous and unhealthy, I sought out other people’s words — the bible, books on inner beauty, self-love blogs. Then, I took those words and actually wrote them down in my journal with my own hand as if they were pouring out of my own consciousness. I won’t lie to you — at first, it felt really awkward. It felt wrong. It felt stupid, pointless, and borderline pathetic. But I persisted, knowing that the alternative wasn’t an option anymore.

After several (I’m talking several, people) months of this, I started following a different pattern. Instead of reading these encouraging words about my body and feeling uncomfortable and doubtful, I started to believe them. I even found myself thinking them while I was looking in the mirror without even trying. Instead of looking at my body as “fat” and “unlovable” and “disgusting,” I found myself referring to it as “lovely” and “curvy” and “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

So. All that to say…


If you’re feeling particularly down and don’t feel like exerting effort to look, let me give you some:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
– Psalm 139:13-15, 17-18

And for you non-believers out there:

You are bloody fantastic. Your existence makes life worthwhile.
– Me

But, as wonderful as other people’s words are, your words matter most in the act of changing your world for the better. Therefore…

An FBDC homework assignment of sorts.

You know how when you were in 7th grade and you spent hours trying to finish your freaking algebra homework and you thought to yourself, “WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO USE THIS WORTHLESS GARBAGE??” (No? Was that just me?) Well, rest assured, this homework assignment is actually beneficial to your life. Also, you get an “A” no matter what. Even if you turn it in late. (I hope my 7th grade algebra teacher reads this and takes a bloody hint.)

  1. I’d like you to find a pen (or pencil or crayon or whatever) and a sheet of paper. Not an email or a blog. An actual, physical, made-from-a-tree-and-will-biodegrade sheet of paper.
  2. Write a love letter to yourself. Write, “Dear [insert your name here],” at the top and write down as many wonderful things about yourself as you want. Your letter can be two lines long, or two hundred pages long. Whatever good things you can think about yourself, write them. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Just write.
  3. Find an envelope and a stamp.
  4. Put that love letter in said envelope, seal it, and put said stamp on it. Beyonce would say, “IF YOU MAIL IT THEN YOU NEEDA PUTTA STAMP ON IT.”
  5. Address said envelope to yourself.
  6. Next time you’re out and about, drop it in a public mailbox.
  7. When it arrives in your mailbox, open it up and read it.
  8. Put that letter in a safe place. That way, whenever you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself and you feel your world spinning quickly back into darkness, you can re-read that letter, come back to the light, and remember that you are lovely.

After you’ve written your letters, here’s your extra credit assignment: email me excerpts from your letter so that I can read them. I’d love nothing more than to read your own words about how fabulous you are. I could sit here all day and talk about how wonderful I think each of you are, but what does it matter if you don’t believe it yourself?

Okay. I’m going to hit post. And then, I’m going to watch my inbox become flooded with your self-love.

You ready for your world to change?

tuesday tip: move!

Last Wednesday, I twisted my knee something fierce at my contemporary dance class. At the time, it seemed like nothing, but when I woke up in the night screaming in a fit of pain because I’d moved my leg, I realized it was more serious than I’d originally thought. The next morning my sweet husband drove me to a walk-in clinic and we got some x-rays done on my knee. No broken bones (yay!) which means it’s either a torn or sprained ligament (boo!).


Guest starring: jorts!

I have to go in on Friday to have my knee re-evaluated, and if it hasn’t gotten any better, I’ll get an MRI to see what’s wrong and if (God forbid) I need surgery. But here’s the deal: I’m rocking that stylish knee immobilizer and some sexy crutches for an indefinite amount of time.

This makes me sad because that means that for GOD KNOWS how long, I can’t practice this week’s self-love tip. So, for all you able-bodied folks who can, here’s today’s tip!


If by now you haven’t been told by at least a hundred people that exercise is good for you, I’d like to get the address of the rock you’re living under so I can personally come by and take you on a bike ride.

Here are all the reasons that exercise is great, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  1. Exercise improves your mood. When you move your body, your brain releases “feel-good” chemicals that actually make you happier. No joke! And, because exercise keeps your body in tip-top shape, your confidence level rises, too. Basically, you can walk around like the sun shines out your ass. (I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A REASON TO USE THAT PHRASE FOREVER. Points to whoever names that movie!)
  2. Exercise fights chronic illness. Heart disease? Diabetes? Osteoporosis? HA! Not for the physically active! Exercise keeps your cholesterol and heart pressure at healthy levels.
  3. Exercise helps you manage your weight. OKAY HEAR ME OUT HERE. When I say “manage your weight” I don’t mean “make you super-skinny.” Exercise keeps your body at the weight that suits your UNIQUE frame best. Even at my healthiest, when I was dancing 20 hours a week and eating super healthy things, I was still about 5 lbs overweight according to the BMI charts. (This, by the way, is where I am now.) Exercising builds muscle (which weighs more than fat) and burns fat. As long as you’re staying active, you’re healthy, no matter what a scale or a BMI chart says. It “manages your weight” healthily. I cannot say that enough. (Oh, I also can’t say enough that your “weight” is just a number. Just like your GPA is just a number. No one can tell what you weigh by looking at you any more than they can guess the GPA you scored in college. Mine was a 3.6, in case you care.)
  4. Exercise boosts energy. The experts say the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing and your metabolism kicking in the morning when you need it most. And then, your body continues to burn more calories throughout the day. Win! I, however, can’t seem to forfeit extra cuddle time with my hubs in the morning in order to go running, so I do it in the evening. But still, when I come home from a nice long run in the evening, I have lots of energy to spend making dinner with Dan or chatting with friends or whatever tickles my fancy! (Another phrase I’ve been meaning to use. SCORE!)
  5. Exercise helps you sleep. This makes sense, right? The more energy you exert throughout the day, the more rest your body will crave and ultimately get. As a former insomniac, I can totally attest to this.
  6. Exercise can make your sex life better. After celebrity blogger Perez Hilton lost 90ish pounds, he looked at himself in the mirror and said, “I’d do me.” That was a huge turning point for him, and frankly, I know what he means. I never feel more sexy than I do when I’ve been consistently running or exercising regularly. But honestly, do I really need to explain this one? Or have you all already shut off your computers to go for a jog? (Dan my love, are you still reading this? Why?)
  7. Exercise can be fun. This is the main point I want to drive home to you. Please don’t join a gym after reading this because you feel like you have to because I said so (have you been reading closely? I never said join a gym. Where did you get that from?) Exercise because you “want” to. Find an activity that you love and do it! Is it walking? Dancing? Swimming?  Biking? Hiking? Wii Fit? Playing soccer? Football? Tennis? Whatever it is, do it! If you do something you love, you’re more likely to stick with it. If you hate running and you sign up to run a half-marathon, you’re going to hate your life for the months leading up to it because, hello, you have to run. You’ll either be miserable when you exercise which will make you want to plant yourself on a couch indefinitely or you’ll quit. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Okay so! Hopefully I’ve been able to sell the idea of exercising to you. If you aren’t already active, I challenge you to try incorporating just 20 minutes of physical activity into your life each day. Journal about it. See if it doesn’t lighten your mood a bit and make you feel better. And, if I can’t convince you, just look at First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s working the “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity and, in case you don’t already know, she’s freaking hot.